Our twenty-year-old appliances were hanging on by a thread and it was time to bite the bullet and replace them. The thought of putting new stainless steel appliances into an ugly kitchen made my heart sink but we didn't have the budget for a new kitchen.
Renovations on a tight budget force us to get very creative about how we can get the Wow factor without spending top dollar.
Our DIY kitchen update was four months of sweat equity. It took so long because each door was removed, stripped down to the raw wood both front and back, and primed using Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer. The upper cabinets were painted white with Behr satin latex paint and the lower cabinets were stained Minwax in Dark Walnut. It didn't help that during the process I fell on a patch of ice and ended up on crutches.
I found creative ways to climb a step ladder on my good leg while supporting myself with a crutch to paint the trim, frames, and sides of the cabinets.
Another view of the upper cabinets before...
In the picture above you can see the how the bottom cabinets were stained dark walnut. I like the contrast with the light hardwood floors.
We had replaced the countertops with granite a few years prior to this makeover. We couldn't afford a granite slab so we did the next best thing and installed granite tiles. What is even better is that we got the tiles at a local auction for a song. We butt the tiles fairly close together for a seamless look without having visible grout lines.
The bulkhead was also oak and we decided rather than pulling it down and replacing it with drywall, we would save ourselves the time and money by removing the grain and the joints with Dynamic Dyna Patch Pro (a non-shrinking drywall compound). After it was sanded and primed we painted it the same color as the kitchen walls.
You can see the difference in the picture below between the golden oak cabinets and the new fresh white painted cabinets.
Big difference, right!
A few years ago we removed the wall between our dining room and kitchen. What a difference that made! In its place, we built a small island by repurposing the base of our china cabinet that we were no longer using.
We did splurge by purchasing a granite slab but it was an off cut which saved us a lot of money.
The top portion of the DIY Pantry (pictured above) was the top piece of our old china cabinet. Waste does not want!
It was a heck of a lot of work but so worth it in the end. A HUGE improvement from before!